Insights

Be a Buyer Guide to Succeed in the New World of Selling

Be a Buyer Guide to Succeed in the New World of Selling

Listen to Brent and Ramzi Marjaba discuss this and other topics on Ramzi’s “We The Sales Engineers” podcast. In the old world of selling, buyers needed you to find out about your product. They were dependent upon you to share information critical to their purchase...

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Improve Close Rates and Forecasting with a Path to Partnership

Improve Close Rates and Forecasting with a Path to Partnership

Sean Casey with eLumen talks to Brent about his “work backwards plan” or “path to partnership” for deals, which has improved his team’s close rates and deal forecasting across revenue leadership roles at eLumen, Burning Glass, and Campus Labs. With this approach, you...

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Start with your why.

Start with your why.

If we’re not excited about our company and its products or services, why should our buyers or customers be excited? They shouldn’t be! Buyers and customers can sense right away if you aren’t passionate about your company and its offerings. They can also sense if you...

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Make It a Conversation

Make It a Conversation

“What are you working on?” True story. That simple question helped Claudette, a new BDR 4-weeks into her role, to turn a “no” into a $200k opportunity.  Here is how the conversation went: Claudette: “Hi, good morning, I was following up on my email about safety...

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Get the Incentives Right to Land and Expand Faster

Get the Incentives Right to Land and Expand Faster

Ben Robinson, SVP of Sales at Zeel@Work, talks to Brent about his innovative approach to connecting sales and account management to support faster account expansion and higher enterprise deal values with a team selling approach.    To encourage all of his sales team...

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Ask for Referrals. Sell More.

Ask for Referrals. Sell More.

Are you missing out on getting business because you’re not asking your customers for referrals? The answer is probably, YES!  This is just one of the many topics Alice Heiman and Brent discussed recently on her Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast. Most happy customers are...

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Reference Selling for Faster Growth

Reference Selling for Faster Growth

Brent talks to Beth Nelson at Plus Delta Partners about the power of reference selling as a business growth driver. Beth and the team at Plus Delta have figured out that they can grow much faster by learning their customers’ language and capturing their customer’s...

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Be Authentic. Close Faster.

Be Authentic. Close Faster.

In a recent conversation on the Stories Of Selling Human podcast, Alex Smith and Brent discuss how to close deals faster by using an authentic approach to sales discovery. While it may seem counterintuitive to busy sales people, in reality, taking a more authentic,...

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Be Human. People Buy from People.

Be Human. People Buy from People.

Be human. People buy from people they like, not from companies. Of course, building rapport will definitely not secure you a deal by itself. That’s more a function of the value you and your company can offer a buyer. On the other hand, NOT building rapport can lose...

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Personalizing Authentic Prospecting Outreach

Personalizing Authentic Prospecting Outreach

Brent and Jason Pasquale of Activator Dealer Solutions discuss taking a very personalized approach to prospecting outreach and shifting your focus from your product to your buyer’s business objectives.  Authentic prospecting anchors on buyer goals and sharing social...

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Recap Often to Close More Deals Faster

Recap Often to Close More Deals Faster

Recap often. It is that simple. If you recap often in your buyer and customer calls, you will close more deals faster. I have been asked a lot lately on podcasts: “What’s the easiest way my listeners can start having the authentic conversations you recommend? What one...

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Using Programmatic Prospecting to Set More Meetings

Using Programmatic Prospecting to Set More Meetings

Brent and Christina Yu of NovoEd discuss prospecting as a way of gathering market intelligence and getting smarter about your value prop. Every prospecting campaign is an opportunity to test your value messaging against different buyer personas. “Obviously a key goal...

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The Power of Small Wins

The Power of Small Wins

Great buyer discovery is really just a series of “small wins.” Brent was honored to be the first male guest on Lori Richardson's Women in Sales Podcast.   Listen to Lori and Brent and talk about the “give and take” of good buyer discovery.   Rather than have the buyer...

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Accelerating Deal Velocity with a Platform Value Prop

Accelerating Deal Velocity with a Platform Value Prop

“You build the most momentum in buyer conversations by engaging individual buyers with a message specific to them while also connecting all buyers to shared goals” That is how Sujay Darji, Regional Sales Manager for Anthology, a provider of enterprise higher education...

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The Myth of Sales Experience

The Myth of Sales Experience

Have you ever heard Venus Williams or Tom Brady or Derek Jeter complain about practicing? For top performers, a commitment to practice is a given. So when asked to train or practice, why do so many salespeople respond with something like: “We don’t need to practice,...

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The Playbook: A Different Approach to Revenue Growth

The Playbook: A Different Approach to Revenue Growth

“Nobody cares about your products except for you. They care about themselves” is how David Meerman Scott explains the key reason product pitching fails sales and marketing teams. In a recent conversation with David, I had the opportunity to explore why go-to-market...

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Selling with Your Customer’s Voice

Selling with Your Customer’s Voice

“Arguably the single most important input for your prospecting motion is understanding why your existing customers chose you in the first place.” We live in a noisy world and it is difficult to stand out, but capturing your customer’s voice can help you break through....

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Authentic Follow Up Emails as a Powerful Coaching Tool

Authentic Follow Up Emails as a Powerful Coaching Tool

“The follow up email doesn’t lie. You either learned these things in the meeting or not.” Listen to Bobby Coy of Activator Dealer Solutions explain why he finds follow-up emails such a powerful tool to review and coach on discovery calls. The best discovery meetings...

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Anchoring Account Expansion on Customer Value

Anchoring Account Expansion on Customer Value

In traditional account planning, the focus on customer value can quickly get lost in the industry analysis, competitive positioning, product white space, and relationship mapping.  Carrie Straub at Mursion shows how to change this formula to grow account values...

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The Real Reason Sales Methodologies Fail

The Real Reason Sales Methodologies Fail

 They focus on the seller. And sellers do not close deals, buyers close deals.  If you are a seller, all you can do is guide. You can guide the buyer to understand the value of partnering with you. You guide the buyer through their internal purchasing process. There...

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The “Diversity Bonus” to Sales Team Performance

The “Diversity Bonus” to Sales Team Performance

How well do you leverage a diversity of backgrounds to build a high-performing sales team? “Building a diverse team is one of the keys I have found to consistent high-performance in sales,” says Christopher Sheppard, SVP of Higher Education at Vector Solutions....

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Team-Based Learning to Sell Faster

Team-Based Learning to Sell Faster

How effectively do you use team-based learning to understand what your buyers value, so you can sell more and sell faster?    “We use a weekly ‘test and improve’ session to be more successful in our sales positioning and execution, “says Greg Carder, Vice President of...

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Selling with Your Customers’ Voice

Selling with Your Customers’ Voice

How well do you harness your customers' voice to sell faster into target market segments?    “We sell to fundraising teams in four different markets,” says Beth Nelson, Chief Client Officer at Plus Delta Partners. “We work with research universities, small- to...

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Recruiting for a Top Sales Team

Recruiting for a Top Sales Team

What matters most in building a top sales team - recruiting or skills training?    “Our sales success comes from recruiting for the right intrinsic characteristics,” says Josh Allen, Chief Revenue Officer at Owl Labs. “Sales process, messaging and negotiation are...

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Jumpstart Growth with Verticalization

Jumpstart Growth with Verticalization

When is the right time to build vertical expertise?    “It is never too early!” says Rob Brewster, CEO at GoFormz. “Investing in verticalization helped jumpstart our growth.  It brought us closer to customers and let our sales teams speak with expertise by using the...

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Expanding with a Platform Value Prop

Expanding with a Platform Value Prop

Are you leaving money on the table because you are perceived as a point solution rather than as a platform with broad enterprise value?    “We want our new logo team to look for quick wins on a single-use case, but it is our platform value that is the game-changer for...

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Aligning Go-to-Market Teams to Grow Revenue Faster

Aligning Go-to-Market Teams to Grow Revenue Faster

Most go-to-market teams underperform their growth potential because they focus too heavily on team-level measures of success.  They say Marketing is good at identifying and engaging buyers, Sales is good at working deals, and Customer Success is good at customer care...

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Three Obstacles to a Seamless Buyer Journey

Three Obstacles to a Seamless Buyer Journey

How do you get your marketing, sales, and customer success teams to prioritize the buyer journey over their own department-level goals? Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success each have their own personality and culture. Sales is stereotypically focused on earning...

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Land and Expand Faster with a Mutual Success Plan

Land and Expand Faster with a Mutual Success Plan

A good mutual success plan shifts the buyer-seller relationship from “closing a deal” as an isolated transaction to relationship building that connects each buyer-seller conversation around the opportunity to “continually expand value."    Broad goal exploration...

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Account Expansion Starts in the Close

Account Expansion Starts in the Close

Uncommon Opinion:  your account expansion really starts in the initial closed sale. Too many go-to-market teams view closing an initial deal with a new buyer as a separate activity from expanding account value after a buyer has turned into a customer.  Sales does the...

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Growing into the White Space

Growing into the White Space

Too often, go-to-market teams focus account expansion efforts on “selling into the white space” of the product capabilities that their customer has not yet purchased.  In other words, they view the area of open opportunity in terms of their own product.   White space...

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Land with Your Endgame in Mind

Land with Your Endgame in Mind

To do prospecting right, you must build a prospecting narrative that connects landing the first deal to account expansion. “Land with your endgame in mind” is how Ro Saccone, Chief Marketing Officer at Planet, put it in a recent call I had with her. “We try to build...

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Nailing the Product Discussion

Nailing the Product Discussion

Buyers tune out and lose interest when they hear a generic product discussion that is not aligned to their goal and priorities.   On the other hand, a product presentation can delight and engage buyers when it shows we listened and understood their goals. Rachael...

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Never Product Pitch Again

Never Product Pitch Again

A product pitch is the single fastest way to alienate a buyer and kill deal momentum. Andy Raskin in a great post on The Shift In How CEOs Communicate Strategy shows how business strategy has shifted from “It’s About Us” to “It’s About You." “It’s About Us” is our...

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“What is Your Success Rate Today?”

“What is Your Success Rate Today?”

One of the biggest gaps in buyer discovery is getting a buyer to co-own and co-develop the payoff that would get them really excited about working with a new vendor.   When they identify a specific desired gain, a buyer is acknowledging value and building a vision of...

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Harnessing Buyer Outcomes to Drive Growth

Harnessing Buyer Outcomes to Drive Growth

The strongest growth trajectory comes not from marketing or sales but from customer success. Mark Roberge, HubSpot’s CRO during the company's ride from $0 to $100M, put it this way: “We started with our ideal customer outcome in mind." In a recent conversation, Mark...

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Turning Case Studies Into Success Stories

Turning Case Studies Into Success Stories

There is nothing that will grab a buyer’s attention quicker than telling them that you have been successful with a customer who is just like them.   However, for most companies, customer wins are captured in case studies that sit on a company website or live in highly...

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The Power of Peer References

The Power of Peer References

The absolute #1 question in any buyer's hierarchy of trust is this:  Has this company had success working with my peers? In a recent call with a hospital in the Northeast, I heard Randi-Sue Deckard at BESLER nail the call opening with this simple line:  “We are...

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How Good is Your Buyer Discovery?

How Good is Your Buyer Discovery?

The heart of an authentic buyer journey lies in guided buyer discovery. The reality, however, is that good buyer discovery is a broken skill. Sales conversations should be about conducting GREAT buyer discovery. Ask the right questions, in the right order and you will...

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Winning Hearts and Minds with An Authentic Buyer Journey

Winning Hearts and Minds with An Authentic Buyer Journey

CEOs and revenue leaders often ask me “What is the most important thing I can do to drive sales revenue more consistently?”  My response is always the same: train your sales team to start and end every sales conversation on buyer goals and payoffs.  If you stop...

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How do the best sales teams close sales conversations?

How do the best sales teams close sales conversations?

The most important part of any sales meeting is the last ten minutes.  Many sales meetings overload on product discussions or demos and then end abruptly with “Good meeting, thanks for your time, I will email you next week to follow-up.”  The best sales meetings, in...

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Customer Success as a Revenue Driver

Customer Success as a Revenue Driver

Customer Success, like Customer Service, sits in the post-sale phase of the buyer journey, but the two teams engage customers in very different ways.   Some companies make the mistake of blurring the lines of responsibility between Customer Service and Customer...

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